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Denmark Recalls South Korean Instant Ramen Due to Acute Poisoning Risk from Extreme Spiciness

Copenhagen, June 13, 2024, The Europe Today: Denmark’s Veterinary and Food Administration (DVFA) has issued an urgent recall of three brands of South Korean instant ramen. The agency has warned that the extreme spiciness of these products could potentially lead to “acute poisoning.”

The noodles in question are produced by Seoul-based Samyang Foods, a leading company in South Korea, known for its popular spicy ramen products sold globally. The specific brands recalled are Buldak Samyang 3 x Spicy & Hot Chicken, Buldak Samyang 2 x Spicy & Hot Chicken, and Buldak Samyang Hot Chicken Stew.

According to the DVFA, these products contain an excessively high dose of capsaicin, the active ingredient in chili peppers responsible for the burning sensation experienced when eating spicy foods. Capsaicin, while commonly enjoyed in moderate amounts, can act as a neurotoxin at high concentrations, posing significant health hazards.

“The noodle dishes marketed as extremely strong must no longer be sold because consumers and especially children risk acute poisoning,” the Danish agency announced in a statement. “The capsaicin content is so high that it can pose a health hazard.”

Consumers who have purchased these products are advised to either discard them or return them to the store for a refund. The agency specifically highlighted the increased risk for children, frail adults, and the elderly. Henrik Dammand Nielsen of the DVFA emphasized the need for parental vigilance, noting that children and teenagers have been daring each other on social media to consume particularly spicy foods.

Samyang Foods, whose products have seen soaring popularity overseas, recorded an operating profit of over $110 million in 2023. This recall marks the first instance where their products were deemed too hot for safety standards. The company has expressed its commitment to understanding and adhering to local regulations in its export markets.

The recall and health warnings have ignited lively discussions online, with many social media users commenting on the Danish population’s low tolerance for spicy food.